GAT Airline Ground Support – Spirit Airlines Guest Service Agent Michael Dunn recently received the “Impression-makers” award in the inaugural round of Philadelphia International Airport’s (PHL) Airport Employee Recognition Program. This award recognizes customer-facing employees who provide direct customer service. Dunn greets and assists Spirit’s guests. He also checks in guests' bags, works in the baggage claim office and makes sure the ticketing kiosks are filled with plenty of boarding pass and bag tag receipt paper.
Customer-centrism, prioritizing passenger needs, transcending guest expectations, respect and integrity are all words that describe Dunn’s work ethic.
“I start my day off by greeting my coworkers and seeing if I can be of any assistance to them before I head over and make sure that the kiosks are sanitized and the ticketing area is clean for the next guest,” said Dunn.
“I decided to work at the airport because I enjoy working with the public,” said Dunn. “You get to meet people from around the world that are traveling to different places.”
In his nomination of Dunn for the Employee Recognition Program, GAT Airline Ground Support General Manager Eric Staples said, “Michael is one of our most senior team members and is frequently recognized by his peers and leaders for his superior dedication, professionalism, knowledge, and playful approach with our guests.”
Over the past four years at PHL, Dunn has been able to perfect his teamwork, leadership, communication, and problem-solving skills, especially with guests and coworkers.
“My coworkers and I are good at helping one another out when there is a problem,” said Dunn. We all communicate very well together to solve problems. That’s what it’s all about.”
Dunn’s goal is to have passengers leave relieved that their issue was addressed and resolved. He operates at his best even on tough workdays where flights are canceled, delayed, or rerouted and his positive attitude provides a calmness for guests.
“Recognition from a guest is validating, and is all the more meaningful that an interaction was so transcendent as to drive a person to handwrite a letter to Dunn, attach a gift card, and deliver it, just to say ‘thank you,’” said Staples.
Recently, a family who had traveled through PHL and had seen their baggage mishandled during their journey, returned to the airport to deliver a thank you card to Dunn. “He had worked tirelessly to reunite the luggage with the family, and they wanted to ensure that he was recognized for his work,” said Staples. “The card read: ‘Thank you, Michael, for answering all of our calls and for making sure that our suitcase made it to the right place. We really appreciate that you went above and beyond to do your job well. I hope that there are a lot of people in the world like you! Good luck!’”.
The travel experience is not only enjoyed by guests flying out. It's also a highlight for employees like Dunn. “I love seeing the expressions on the passengers' faces when they are going on vacation with their families. Seeing their smiles and seeing their children so excited gives me a deep appreciation for my job,” he said.
Working in the aviation industry, Dunn is constantly learning from different departments at PHL. GAT Airline Ground Support trains employees for available positions allowing employees the ability to move further in the company. “Five years from now, I see myself advancing to management in the company and showing my experience to the new hires that are coming on board in the airline industry,” said Dunn.
“My most memorable moment at PHL so far is being recognized by the Employee Recognition Program with this award, getting my picture taken, having it published, and meeting the CEO. That will stay with me for the rest of my life,” said Dunn. “I never had anything like this to happen to me before. This is better than hitting the lottery because you can spend money, but to be recognized by the company you work for-- that gives you good incentives to work hard and to be appreciated at your job. This is what makes you strive hard to be successful at your place of employment.”
The PHL Employee Recognition Program was established by the airport’s Guest Experience (GX) Department. Honorees are nominated by supervisors, peers or colleagues across the airport and selected by the GX Stakeholder Council Employee Conduct Working Group. For more information, click here.